We get it, life happens. If you slip away from the meal plan, the best thing you can do is try not to panic. Beating yourself up can bring you into a cycle of shame and negative self-talk which can, in turn, lead to overindulging and moving further from your goal. In this article, you’ll get the high five ✋ and advice you need to bounce back from a healthy eating or workout slump.
Ride the waves
If you fall off the wagon for a period of time, get back to healthy routines as soon as you can. Think of an ocean wave: The more you fight against the current, the harder you’ll get knocked down. After you fall, avoid punishing your body by restricting calories or exercising to an unhealthy extent. Instead, move daily and eat regularly to keep your metabolism active. Taking this kinder approach, not fighting your body and bad habits, will make it much easier to get back on track.
Live life in color
Black and white thinking, also known as the “all or nothing” mentality, is when our minds divide information into two categories. Extreme thinking about emotions, like how mad you are at yourself for going back to old habits, leads to more intense emotions. Lifestyle changes — especially ones related to wellness — can be difficult in general. Ease your way into healthy routines with flexibility and balance rather than telling yourself that you’re “good” or “bad.”
For some of us, looking forward to a cheat meal helps us stay on track. It motivated us to eat healthy all week long because we know that we can have our favorite meal over the weekend. The cheat meal won’t stop you from seeing results if you’re consistent on the other days of the week. On the flip side, for some people, a cheat meal can send you into that “all or nothing” thinking pattern. If this is you, be honest with yourself and know that a small, in-the-moment sacrifice can help you feel good in the long run.
You’ve known yourself for a long time now so you know if, when you buy a bag of chips, you eat the entire bag in one sitting. If this is the case, don’t buy the chips. Another big culprit is alcohol. If you’re going to drink, learn how to drink alcohol in a way that won’t hinder your goals.
Two steps forward and one back is still one step forward
Always remind yourself of your goals or why you started on this journey in the first place. If you climb two stairs then slip down one, you’re still closer to your destination. See this healthy lifestyle as a big picture and long-term commitment, not a quick fix. Focus on your victories and your achievements — big or small — and consider your net gain rather than the short-term effects of a relatively brief workout or healthy eating slump.
Start by putting your workout clothes near your bed for a morning workout. When you set yourself up for success with small habit changes, you’ll feel accomplished when it becomes a normal routine, motivating you to keep going.